Shooting at Golden Hour – Five Reasons


The ultimate work time for photographers and videographers, golden hour is the period of time just after sunrise and right before sunset where the sun is close to the horizon.  Because of this, there is less direct light from the sun and more indirect light from the sky above, providing softer light and shadows.  Here are five reasons you should take your shoot outside during the magic hour.


1. Lens Flares

Lens flares, while sometimes seen as something to be avoided, can add a little bit of flash and atmosphere to a photo.

Golden hour lens flares
2. Beautiful Warm Light

Sunlight is, by nature, white light, but when that sunset starts dipping into the horizon, the sun takes on warmer tones of orange and sometimes red.

Beth in a shoot from 2011

Warm orange and red light. There’s that sun flare again. :]


3. Sun on the Horizon

Sunset and Sunrise are right around the corner.  May as well take advantage of them! :]

golden hour into sunset


4. Rimlights

This is one thing I love about golden hour.  The sun isn’t strong enough to over power a flash, so I use my flash to light my subject and use the sun as a hairlight / rimlight.  The finished product is a dramatically lit photo.  You can also use a reflector or just shoot with a lower shutter speed to take advantage of the sun’s golden hour.

early golden hour provides a high enough light to rim/hair light danica


5. Beautiful, Even, Manageable Sunlight

The Sun can be kind of harsh and hard to work with in the middle of the day, but during golden hour, the sun’s power is a bit diminished.  The sky becomes one huge light diffuser offering beautiful flattering light.

as the sun sets farther into the horizon, the light continually softens

I hope this gives you a few reasons to consider rising early to catch the sunrise or getting your shots in before the sunsets for your next shoot!  I love shooting at golden hour and you should definitely give it a try!

Have you shot at golden hour?  If so, what are your favorite shots?  Share your comments and photos below!


Thanks for reading!
<3 imPhotography

Facebook Share|Tweet Post|Email Post|Contact Me

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *